Miss America ditches swimsuit competition in sweeping overhaul of pageant

06 June, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Miss America says it will stop judging contestants based on physical appearance | TheHill

Gretchen Carlson, the first Miss America to be named to the organization's Board of Trustees, appeared on "Good Morning America" to unveil the contest's changes.

"It's what comes out of their mouths that we care about", Carlson said.

The Miss America pageant is dropping the swimsuit and evening gown competition and will no longer judge contestants on their physical appearance, organisers announced on Tuesday.

"It's shifting the focus to what it is that makes a Miss America, to what it is that she really does during her year of service, which is speak on an issue and interact with people", said Hagan, who is running for a congressional seat in Alabama.

The official Miss America Twitter account tweeted a short video of a white bikini going up in a puff of smoke with the hashtag #byebyebikini. That's a huge change for an organization that began almost 100 years ago as a swimsuit pageant and even today is, by most, more known for its bikinis and evening gowns (which Carlson says they're also revamping) than the scholarships they provide.

Since its start, almost 100 years ago, the pageant has been known for featuring beauty queens parading around in skimpy bikinis and sparkly gowns.


Gone too will be the high heels and sequined dresses that were once staples of the evening gown portion of the competition, organizers announced today.

Contestants from all 50 USA states are to be judged on what they say rather than how they look in future competitions. They'll discuss advancing social-impact initiatives. The talent portion of the contest will remain.

The new rules also come amidst the #MeToo era, as women have shared their stories and advocated on behalf of victims of sexual harassment and abuse. A former Miss America herself, she co-hosted Fox and Friends for eight years. They were replaced by an all-female leadership team, all of whom have past pageant experience.

Miss America's former executive director Sam Haskell, president Josh Randle, and other board members resigned over a scandal a year ago over vulgar emails disparaging contestants.

So what will viewers see when they tune into the next Miss America Competition in September? The board now has women in seven of its nine seats, including three former pageant winners.

Hopper, former CEO of Intelligent Transportation Society of America, was Miss Arkansas 1983. While some were delighted to hear the news, others said that without the swimsuit round, Miss America would "fail".

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